2022 Chipping Norton Stakes Runner By Runner Preview, Odds & Tips

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Fri 25th February 2022


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The Chipping Norton Stakes is a Group 1 mile (1600m) race run at Royal Randwick. The $600k feature is used primarily as a lead up race to the Group 1 Doncaster Mile in April. The winner of this race will be exempt from ballot in the Doncaster. 

Speaking of winners, some out and out champions have won the race. As far back as 1930 when Phar Lap saluted, to ‘The Big O’, Octagonal in 1997. Guy Walter trained, Tie the Knot, won the race four years in a row from 1999-2002, as did Champion mare Winx from 2016-2019.

The winner of this year’s race will have to handle all conditions, as the track is already in the heavy range, and more rain is forecast. Looking at the market, Sportsbet has last year’s Melbourne Cup winner, Verry Elleegant, favourite at $2.90, ahead of Godolphin mare, Colette, at $3.50, and last start Apollo Stakes winner, Think It Over, at $4.50. 

We know with horse racing that anything can happen and it can be hard to find a winner at the best of times, let alone on a bog track. So, we have dissected each of the horses’ chances for you! Read on below to find our runner by runner preview of the 2022 Chipping Norton Stakes along with The Shark’s best tips. 

1. Think It Over (8) – $4.50
Jockey – Nash Rawiller 59kg
Trainer – Kerry Parker

Was super first up winning the G2 Apollo Stakes at Randwick. Has won second up and the step up to a mile will only further his chances. The big query here is the wet deteriorating track. His heavy track stats (3:0-0-0) aren’t flash and it could be the factor that brings him undone.

2. Kolding (7) – $61 – Scratched
Jockey – Regan Bayliss 59kg
Trainer – Chris Waller

Old timer who has been a great horse for his connections. Was just fair first up in the Apollo Stakes behind Think It Over. Is yet to win on the heavy, and can’t see him doing so here.

3. Top Ranked (9) – $10
Jockey – Hugh Bowman 59kg
Trainer – Annabel Neasham

UK import who has only had the one run down under. That was in the $1m Hunter at Newcastle, where he finished a good 3rd to Lost and Running. Has trialled well in preparation for this and has won twice on soft going. If he is fit enough to run a strong mile first up on a heavy track, he certainly has to be respected.

4. Mount Popa (13) – $61
Jockey – William Pike 59kg
Trainer – Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes

Stayer who resumes here, after a below par Spring campaign. Has a good record here at Randwick and likes the wet. Capable of running a race at odds.

5. Angel of Truth (12) – $61
Jockey – Jay Ford 59kg
Trainer – Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes

Two time winner first up who does race well on rain affected tracks. Has had the benefit of two trials and like his stablemate, is capable of giving some cheek at odds, but couldn’t see him winning this.

6. Stockman (11) – $26
Jockey – Sam Clipperton 59kg
Trainer – Joseph Pride

Absolute mudlark, who resumes after a good prep, highlighted by a close 4th in the G2 Villiers Stakes at this trip. Usually takes a run or two to find his best form and is stepping up to WFA now, but the heavy track brings him into contention here. Watch for him late.

7. Maximal (1) – $41 – Scratched

Jockey – Brenton Avdulla 58.5kg
Trainer – John O’Shea

His run was too bad to be true first up in the Apollo Stakes, where he was well supported. Step up to the mile is a positive, but untried on heavy ground. Happy to watch him here.

8. Verry Elleegant (4) – $2.90F
Jockey – James McDonald 57kg
Trainer – Chris Waller

Cup Queen who looked somewhat disappointing first up in the Apollo Stakes, where she started favourite. Has a much better second up record and the step up to a mile is a big plus. Has a great heavy track record and can hit back hard here.

9. Colette (3) – $3.50
Jockey – Tim Clark 57kg
Trainer – James Cummings

Godolphin mare who resumed with an eye-catching 2nd in the Apollo Stakes. Is unbeaten on the heavy (3:3-0-0), and the step up to a mile second up looks a good stepping stone. Can go one better here. 

10. Montefilia (5) – $20
Jockey – Jason Collett 57kg
Trainer – David Payne

G1 Metropolitan winner last prep, who resumes here. Ran a big race first up last prep, when she made good late ground to grab 3rd in the G2 Chelmsford Stakes, here over the Randwick mile. Is capable of repeating an effort similar to that and has a good wet track record. Each way chance.

11. Hungry Heart (10) – $35 – Scratched
Jockey – Chad Schofield 57kg
Trainer – Chris Waller

Talented mare who resumed with a tidy effort in the Apollo Stakes. She got back on that occasion and ran some good late splits to finish 4th. She is untried on the heavy and her soft track form is nothing to get excited about. May need one more run, but might be worth while following her after this.

12. She’s Ideel (6) – $51
Jockey – Rachel King 57kg
Trainer – Bjorn Baker

Staying mare who, like many others here, resumed in the Apollo Stakes. She got a long way back there and only beat one runner home. In saying that her final furlong was strong, in fact was the fastest of the race. The step up to a mile suits, and she has form in the wet. Can certainly make a case for her at big odds.

13. Duais (2) – $51
Jockey – Joshua Parr 57kg
Trainer – Edward Cummings

Another who resumed in the Apollo Stakes, and was good through the line. Her momentum was halted late in the race and her run was better than it reads on paper. The step up in trip is in her favour, but like a few others the query is the heavy track. Will improve on whatever she does here. 

Final Word

It’s almost a case of the Apollo Stakes all over again, with 8 of the 13 runners coming out of that race. Think It Over was ultra impressive on that occasion where he demolished his rivals, but the heavy track here poses a big question mark for him. If the track was dry here, he probably goes around a deserved odds on favourite, and is on top of the selections. 

Sadly for him, that is not the case and there are a handful of runners that may represent better value. Melbourne Cup winner Verry Elleegant ticks a lot of boxes here second up. She revels in the wet and has a brilliant second up record. 

Colette is another mare who grows a leg on wet tracks and was very good in the Apollo behind Think It Over. Top Ranked is interesting. If he handles the wet he can win, and there are a few at odds capable of filling the exotics, namely Stockman, Montefilia and She’s Ideel.

As for the on topper, I’m going to go with Colette. I found it hard to split her and Verry Elleegant, but going off her first up run I’ve lent her way. She is looking to keep her unbeaten heavy track record intact, and take home another G1 in doing so. It might be hard to see them if the forecast comes to fruition, but let’s hope the royal blue colours of Godolphin appear first past the winning post.

Best Chipping Norton Stakes Tip: 9. Colette – Win ($3.50)

If you need more news, information and tips, head over to our Chipping Norton Stakes page for all your punting needs!

*Odds correct at time of writing, courtesy of Sportsbet.

Tom has had a passion for the racing industry from the time he could talk. Wether it was at school, on smoko or in his own spare time, he always had his head in the form guide.He has worked hands on in the industry for years for some of Australia’s most highly regarded trainers. As a track rider, he has put the polish on some of the best horse flesh to grace the turf in recent years including the grey flash, Chautauqua, Golden slipper winner, Mossfun and sprinter-turned-sire, Deep Field to name a few.Tom has recently hung up the boots to focus solely on his punting and tipping services. With the objective of finding plenty of winners and value in the marketplace, you’ll be sure to have a fat wallet following his feature race previews.